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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Moore  0207 527 3308

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Clarke-Perry, Bell-Bradford and Graham.


Declaration of Substitute Members




Declarations of Interest

If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:

§  if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;

§  you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency. 

In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.


If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.


*(a) Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

(b) Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.

(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.

(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.

(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.

(f) Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.

 (g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital. 


This applies to all members present at the meeting.




Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 89 KB




That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 29 October 2019 be agreed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them.


Chair's Report


The Chair advised that members were visiting schools and other educational settings to gather evidence for the review of Equalities in Educational Outcomes. It was stated that a summary of the visits would be provided to a future meeting.


Mary Clement asked for it to be noted that she had not received invitations to the visits due to an administrative error.  


Items for Call In (if any)




Public Questions

For members of the public to ask questions relating to any subject on the meeting agenda under Procedure Rule 70.5. Alternatively, the Chair may opt to accept questions from the public during the discussion on each agenda item.



A member of the public asked how many schools in the borough had adopted the Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education. In response officers advised that this would be investigated.


Equalities in Educational Outcomes - Witness Evidence pdf icon PDF 318 KB

a)    Data Update

b)    Evidence from Dr Antonina Tereshchenko, UCL Institute of Education

Additional documents:


a)    Data Update


Harry Donnison, QPMU Service Manager, presented educational outcomes data to the Committee. The data used four years of results combined; this provided a larger sample size which could be evaluated with a higher degree of certainty.


The following main points were noted in the discussion:


·         Nationally, 28% of Black Caribbean early years pupils were eligible for free school meals. In Islington, this figure was 45%. Islington had an above average proportion of Black Caribbean pupils eligible for free school meals at every key stage.

·         Nationally, 15% of White UK early years pupils were eligible for free school meals. In Islington the figure was double the national average at around 30%. This gap widened at Key Stage 4, with around 35% of White UK pupils eligible for free school meals, slightly more than double the national average. 

·         The Committee queried the reasons why the number of pupils eligible for free school meals changed over time. Officers explained that the overall number of pupils eligible for free school meals decreased between early years and the end of Key Stage 2. It was advised that early years pupils were more likely to be eligible for free school meals as their parents or carers were less likely to be working; as the parents of primary age children returned to employment their household income increased and, as a result, some were no longer eligible for free school meals.

·         The Committee also noted that the number of pupils eligible for free school meals increased by approximately 5% between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4. Officers explained that the pupil cohort changed between primary and secondary education as some Islington pupils moved to schools outside of the borough and some pupils resident in neighbouring boroughs began attending schools in Islington. A member hypothesised that some middle class families sent their children to prestigious schools outside of the borough and this impacted on the demography of the pupil cohort. Officers commented that this could be a factor, however the reasons for demographic changes over time were complex.

·         Officers commented on the particular academic challenges faced by different demographic groups. The attainment of White UK pupils eligible for free school meals and Black Caribbean pupils was below the borough average. At Key Stage 1 White UK pupils eligible for free school meals were more likely to struggle with reading and writing, whereas Black Caribbean pupils were more likely to struggle with mathematics.

·         At Key Stage 4, both White UK pupils eligible for free school meals and Black Caribbean pupils tended to underperform across all subjects. However, for English and Maths the attainment gap between these groups and the borough average decreased between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4. It was thought that this was due to schools prioritising English and Maths GCSE.

·         There was a gap in attainment between boys and girls, with girls having a higher level of attainment than boys. This was the case for all pupils, however the gender attainment gap  ...  view the full minutes text for item 140.


Islington SACRE Annual Report 2019 pdf icon PDF 222 KB


Teddy Prout, Vice-Chair of Islington SACRE, introduced the report summarising the work of SACRE in 2018-19.


The following main points were noted in the discussion:


·         The Committee noted the role of SACRE in developing the local Religious Education syllabus and in providing advice on religious matters to Islington schools.

·         Over the past year SACRE had focused on embedding the new RE syllabus in schools. A series of educational resources had been launched to support teachers in delivering the syllabus.

·         SACRE had a broad membership including representatives of local religious groups as well as non-religious groups such as Humanists.

·         The number of pupils studying GCSE RE in Islington had increased over the past year, however this had to be considered against an overall national decrease, with the number of pupils studying GCSE RE significantly declining over several years. In response to a question, it was suggested that some schools did not focus on RE as it did not contribute to the English Baccalaureate.

·         The Committee asked whether SACRE provided advice to schools on religious issues that could arise relating to Physical Education. In response, it was advised that SACRE had provided guidance on PE, collating advice from mainstream religious groups on possible issues arising.

·         A member highlighted the religious discrimination faced by some young people and queried if SACRE worked with schools on religious bullying issues. In response it was advised that SACRE can provide advice and support to schools however it would be for schools to intervene and deal with such issues.

·         A member of the public noted that Ofsted had revised its inspection framework and had removed the reference to “celebrating” diversity, instead opting to inspect whether diversity is “accepted and respected”. It was asked if this had an impact on Religious Education in schools. In response, it was advised that Islington schools would continue to celebrate diversity, regardless of the revised Ofsted inspection framework.

·         A member of the public highlighted the recent protests outside of a Birmingham school by religious groups campaigning against teaching children about same-sex relationships and transgender issues. The Committee asked if SACRE had engaged with local schools on these issues. In response, it was advised that SACRE could advise schools on any matter that impacted on religion or belief, and SACRE had undertaken discussions with local schools on Relationships and Sex Education, but had not provided formal guidance on this issue. However, it was emphasised that the teaching of RSE was required by law and, irrespective of individual beliefs, SACRE could not support breaking the law. 


The Committee thanked Teddy Prout for his attendance.




That the work of Islington SACRE be noted.


Overview of Social and Emotional Mental Health Support in and offered to Schools pdf icon PDF 259 KB


Sheron Hosking, Assistant Director (Joint Commissioning), and Helen Cameron, Health and Wellbeing Manager, introduced the report which provided an overview of the social and emotional mental health support available to young people in local schools.


The following main points were noted in the discussion:


·         Preventative services were available to every child in every school. These included iTIPS (Islington Trauma Informed Practice) and IMHARS (Islington Mental Health and Resilience in Schools) which had now bedded in over the past four years. IMARHS reviewed school practices to identify areas for further development to ensure that young people and staff were well supported.

·         Some schools bought in specialist mental health support services and resources from other providers.

·         CAMHS provided all primary schools with a fortnightly clinic and all secondary schools with a weekly one. This had been well received by schools. The time could be spent either working directly with young people or working with staff on how to develop effective interventions and approaches. Several schools commissioned CAMHS to provide additional services. 

·         The impact of CAMHS was measured through a questionnaire completed by young people on how they felt about their experiences. This data indicated that young people accessing CAMHS had reduced anxiety and depression by the end of their intervention. The Committee requested that further data be provided on the performance of CAMHS services. 

·         Islington had secured Trailblazer funding to develop two new mental health support teams in Islington schools. These teams will support primary and secondary schools, the PRU and any other alternative provision providers in Islington, and will be located at two schools in the borough. The teams will provide an additional resource for carrying out evidence-based interventions with young people.

·         Some services for young people accepted self-referrals and Islington had a growing digital offer, with young people able to access services online.

·         Following a question, it was noted that some schools had mentoring services which provided additional support to young people.

·         A member of the public asked if schools had appointed mental health and wellbeing champions. The officer responded that all schools had a senior member of staff appointed as their lead for mental health. Mental Health First Aid and Suicide Prevention classes were held for school staff.

·         The Committee queried if the council held demographic data on those accessing social and emotional mental health support services. In response, they were advised that the council held some data on which groups were less likely to access services and this helped to inform how services were targeted. The Committee commented that it would be helpful for this information to be available to members.


The Committee thanked officers for their attendance.




That the report be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 34 KB